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Burmese

A language of Myanmar

ISO 639-3: mya

Population 32,000,000 in Myanmar (2000 D. Bradley). Population total all countries: 32,301,581.
Region South, central, and adjacent areas. Also spoken in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, USA.
Alternate names   Bama, Bamachaka, Myen, Myanmar
Dialects Merguese (Mergui, Beik), Yaw, Danu (Taruw), Burmese, Palaw. There are diglossic high and low varieties. The preferred variety is spoken in Mandalay. Merguese (250,000 speakers), Danu (100,000 speakers), and Yaw (20,000) may be separate languages. They are distinct varieties (1997 D. Bradley). Speakers in Bangladesh speak Bomang, not Standard Burmese.
Classification Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Southern
Language use National language. 10 million second-language speakers. Many Mon and some Shan are monolingual in Burmese. Native speakers of Burmese seldom speak a second indigenous language. If they have one, it is usually English.
Language development Burmese script. Bible: 1835.
Comments Burmese dominates the nation's publishing production. Myanma is the largest ethnic group; another is Baramagyi (Barua). Educated speech has many Pali borrowings. The Rawang people call them 'Myen'. SOV. Alluvial plains. Scrub forest. Sea level and higher. Peasant agriculturalists; fishermen; craftsmen; industrialists. Buddhist.

Also spoken in:

Bangladesh

Language name   Burmese
Population 300,000 in Bangladesh (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk).
Region Area bordering Myanmar.
Alternate names   Bama, Bamachaka, Myen
Dialects Bomang.
Comments Buddhist.